07/01/2019- Opioid overdose deaths are decreasing locally and across the country. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drug-overdose deaths in the US are on the verge of declining to numbers not seen since 1990. Representative John Nygren of Marinette says Wisconsin has become a national leader on the issue through the bipartisan HOPE Agenda, which he’s championed since 2013. That work has included authoring 30 bills aimed at combatting Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic, particularly focusing on how and when controlled substances are prescribed to patients by their doctors. Data shows that in the fourth quarter of 2014, Marinette County had one of the highest rates of these drugs being dispensed per capita at 32.3. By the first quarter of 2019, that rate sits at 19.1 doses per capita. Nygren, who’s spoken openly his own daughter’s struggle with drug abuse, says while he’s proud of these successes, the state still has work to do. He plans to introduce new components to his HOPE agenda later this year.